The Figure in the Trees
John stood in the doorway, listening to the storm assaulting the metal roof on the house. Somehow the rain would wash it all away. It would make his world clean again. The images of the night before, the sounds of screams and pain, It would disappear like a sand sculpture at the beach. Everything would be better now.
Lightning arced across the sky illuminating the yard. That’s when he saw it. The figure standing beneath a tree. Its lack of substance seemed to writhe in the stillness of it. He waited, seeing if it was his eyes playing tricks again or if it were actually there. Lightning flashed again, and once again the figure stood under a tree, only now it seemed to be closer.
John reached inside the doorway and flipped the switch for the flood light. His curiosity wouldn’t let him move as the light gave the figure a more solid form. It stepped forward, and he couldn’t stop himself from taking a step back at the same time. He felt a bead of sweat run down his nose and reached up to wipe his forehead.
When did I start sweating? he thought, looking at his wet sleeve.
His eyes returned to the place where the figure had been to see that it had vanished. He suddenly felt uneasy being there. He closed the door, keeping his eyes trained on the spot the figure had been as he locked it. He backed away from the glass, as his hands shook.
“Elizabeth sent me,” a voice whispered in his ear, “she needs this.”
Pain exploded through him as he collapsed to the floor. His muscles tightened and his bones scrapped. He screamed as his head filled with pressure and his body contorted. His heart raced in his chest as his lungs struggled for air. A sickening crunch and another explosion of pain in his left arm as it twisted itself breaking at the elbow.
“You will beg me for death,” the voice said. “When I’m done with you…”